Ala Isham, Ala von Auersperg

“Frankly, there is too much fun to be had in life to be focused exclusively on what you’re wearing.”

Ala Isham

Ala Isham, Founder and Creative Director of Ala von Auersperg, co-founder of the National Center for Victims of Crime, and founder of the Brain Trauma Foundation, shared the story behind her title with us on Sunday, December 19th, 2021.

Ala had been working with the designer Antonio Gual for years, creating such pieces for herself, when in 2015 he suggested applying her original nature- and travel-inspired artworks onto them. From there, Ala Von Auersperg — the brand — was born, with her daughter Sunny Kneissl joining the team as their in-house stylist. Since day one, they’ve focused on making women feel wonderful in the feminine flow of the fabric, the transparency that reveals but also partially conceals the body, and the soft touch of textiles on the skin.

Their goal is to help all women realize that they can be glamorous, no matter their size or age. AvA is about enjoying life as you are and being the best version of yourself because when a woman looks her best she feels better about herself. We all have roles to play and we’re going to do them more effectively when we’re at our best —and, frankly, there is too much fun to be had to be focused exclusively on what you’re wearing.

This passion for creating clothes that boost a woman’s confidence also underpins Ala’s philanthropic work, specifically her work with women who have experienced violence, because the thing that those crimes take away from women is their self-esteem. The National Center for Victims of Crime, which Ala co-founded in 1985, works to remedy this loss, while the Brain Trauma Foundation (originally the Sunny Von Bülow Coma and Head Trauma Research Institute), which she founded in 1986, supports ongoing research on traumatic brain injuries. Together with Ala’s conservation efforts, these causes advance my ultimate aim as a daughter, mother, and grandmother: to leave the world a better place.


“Growing up in what Ala described as a privileged upbringing, she is grateful for the opportunities and experiences she had. At the same time there were events in her life that truly tested her resilience. What she discovered about herself was that she could always move forward and never give up on life…there was always too much to be thankful for.”

Listen to our interview with Ala below!

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